Sonari Glinton

Sonari Glinton is a NPR Business Desk Correspondent based at our NPR West bureau. He covers the auto industry, consumer goods, and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising for NPR and Planet Money.

In this position, which he has held since late 2010, Glinton has tackled big stories including GM's road back to profitability and Toyota's continuing struggles. In addition, Glinton covered the 2012 presidential race, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, as well as the U.S. Senate and House for NPR.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered. Over the years Glinton has produced dozen of segments about the great American Song Book and pop culture for NPR's signature programs most notably the 50 Great Voices piece on Nat King Cole feature he produced for Robert Siegel.

Glinton began his public radio career as an intern at Member station WBEZ in Chicago. He worked his way through his public radio internships working for Chicago Jazz impresario Joe Segal, waiting tables and meeting legends such as Ray Brown, Oscar Brown Jr., Marian MacPartland, Ed Thigpen, Ernestine Andersen, and Betty Carter.

Glinton attended Boston University. A Sinatra fan since his mid-teens, Glinton's first forays into journalism were album revues and a college jazz show at Boston University's WTBU. In his spare time Glinton indulges his passions for baking, vinyl albums, and the evolution of the Billboard charts.

Much of the anger and anxiety in the 2016 election are fueled by the sense that economic opportunity is slipping away for many Americans. This week, as part of NPR's collaborative project with member stations, A Nation Engaged, we're asking the question: What can be done to create economic opportunity for more Americans?

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Today Volkswagen announced a tentative agreement with its 652 franchise dealers in the U.S. The company didn't reveal the price tag but sources tell the Reuter news service the deal is worth $1.2 billion.

According to a statement from the company, Volkswagen has agreed to pay cash to the dealers and "to resolve alleged past, current and future claims of losses in franchise value."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The race for who will come to the market with an auto-piloted car is heating up again. Ford has announced that it will have a fleet of autonomous cars on the road by 2021. The driverless vehicles will be available for ride sharing.

It's an ambitious goal. The company said it will more than double its team devoted to developing autonomous driving, and invest even more money in its Silicon Valley campus. Ford's CEO Mark Fields has said that the company will triple its investment in the technology which includes currently available help with parking and avoiding traffic jams.

For six years, the auto industry has been on a sales streak. July was no different. It was the best July since 2005, with sales up 0.4 percent over a year earlier. Much of the growth was in trucks and SUVs. The three top-selling vehicles were trucks (Ford F Series, Chevy Silverado, Ram).

The auto industry is watching to see whether Tesla, which has its roots in the tech world of Silicon Valley, can pull off its goal of mass producing cars.

The goal hit a road bump in May when Tesla had its first fatality in a vehicle using Autopilot, a feature it offers that allows the car to do a lot of the driving.

It's supposed to be an assist. Before you engage it, it warns you not to take your hands off the wheel.

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In the late '80s, when I was in the fifth and sixth grades, my school librarian took a special interest in me. One day our assignment was to do a book report, and Ms. Newton pointed me toward the biography section. Being the lazy kid I was, I picked out the thinnest book I could find. Barely a hundred pages, I thought. I can knock this out. I only had to skim it, I thought, and I'd get an A. The book was Night by Elie Wiesel.

I was right about one thing. It was a quick read. That was it.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On first blush, the death of the young actor Anton Yelchin, who starred in recent Star Trek movies, seemed just a freak accident, but it might be connected to a known defect in his SUV.

Yelchin's body was found pinned between his car and a fence. His Jeep Grand Cherokee had apparently rolled into Yelchin after he exited the car.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A new congressional report shows that at least four automakers are still equipping vehicles with the type of Takata air bags that have been responsible for fatalities and injuries worldwide.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

By my count I have helped some 58 friends (including many colleagues in public radio) buy a car. That's sort of funny, considering I didn't buy a car until I was 37 years old and began reporting on the auto industry for NPR.

On Saturdays over the last few years, I have gotten phone calls from friends at car dealerships asking for advice. It's no small financial matter, when the average cost of a new car is roughly $33,000.

So if you are reading this while in a car dealership, do what I tell all my friends: Stand up! Leave the dealership! Do not buy a car today!

Federal regulators have dramatically increased the number of vehicles to be recalled because of defective air bags made by Takata Corp. An additional 35 to 40 million air bag inflators will need to be replaced, according to regulators. The vehicles will be recalled in five stages between now and December 2019.

When I was kid, "What's for dinner?" was not a question you asked at the last minute. My mom, Dorothy Glinton, was an expert at planning what she would put on the table.

"I always knew what I was going to cook. I didn't come in running," Ma recalls.

But these days, even she eats out a few times a week. "But I don't go to a restaurant in the evening," she told me. "I do most of my eating in a grocery story right now, picking up a hot soup, going to a salad bar."

Ever watch The Beverly Hillbillies and wonder why Jed Clampett moved to Beverly Hills and not Texas or some town that we more closely associate with oil?

Even Angelenos forget sometimes that the Clampetts came first, then the swimming pools and movie stars. Think J. Paul Getty or Edward Doheny, men who made their fortunes on oil and then made LA.

Tesla, the maker of electric vehicles, Thursday night unveiled its mass-market Model 3. The car is expected to have a range of 215 miles at a base price of $35,000 ($27,500 after federal tax credits).

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a crowd of loyal fans in Hawthorne, Calif., he is "fairly confident" the vehicle will go on sale in 2017. That the assembled crowd laughed at the statement is a sign of the near-cult following Tesla (and Musk) enjoy.

By 10 p.m. PDT, the company had received 140,000 advance orders, according to Musk, for a car almost no one had seen.

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It seems the quality of the cars we drive is on the decline, so says a report from J.D. Power and Associates. The thing bothering consumers, not the engine or safety, it's the entertainment. Here's NPR's Sonari Glinton.

The jobs numbers are in: 150,000 jobs were added to the economy in January. That's fewer than expected, though the unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low.

President Obama took the opportunity this morning to take a shot at some of his more vocal opponents.

"The United States of America, right now, has strongest, most durable economy in the world," he said. "I know that's still inconvenient for GOP stump speeches, as their 'Doom And Despair' tour plays in New Hampshire — I guess you cannot please everybody."

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